29th Heroes Day Anniversary- Synopsis

29th Heroes Day Anniversary- Synopsis

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 29th Heroes Day Anniversary- Synopsis
Date Published:
2019-02-05
On 5th February 1981, a group of 40 combatants with only 27 guns led by Yoweri Museveni attacked Kabamba barracks setting of the protracted people’s war to liberate Uganda.
 

What better way to celebrate our freedom fighters than by honouring the people who helped shape the country we know and love. Those men and women both dead and the living gave us the legacy that we are proud to celebrate. Their rare courage and triumph in the face of murderous odds is what defines them. While some soldiers and important figures of the time are well known to the culture in general, most are unknown. Some didn’t survive, and many others simply never spoke about what they did.

The list of NRM/A bush war heroes show the courage, bravery, and selflessness of many men you may not have heard of, but who made important contributions to the war nonetheless. The bush war made heroes out of countless soldiers, scientists, officials, and even cooks and timeline is dotted with remarkable and heroic individuals. But all of them took actions that saved lives, inflicted damage on the enemy, and collectively won the war.

On 5th February 1981, a group of 40 combatants with only 27 guns led by Yoweri Museveni attacked Kabamba barracks setting of the protracted people’s war to liberate Uganda. As a country Uganda had sunk to the lowest levels of statelessness after suffering bad leadership and at times rogue regimes since independence. The resistance war would last five years and on the 26th January 1986 the NRA liberated Ugandans from the murderous regimes. A new era to sanitise our politics and modernizing our country began.

Uganda’s bush war heroes made themselves extra ordinary when they walked into the unknown. Some names are fresh in our minds that include both the dead and the living. People like Yoweri Museveni, Elly Tumwine, Salim Saleh, Fred Rwigyema, Matayo Kyaligonza, Peter Kerim, Joram Mugume, Stanley Muhangi, Patrick Lumumba, Ivan Koreta, Hannington Mugabi, Chef Ali, Ikondere, Akanga Byaruhanga, Dora Kutesa, Pecos Kutesa, Julius Chihanda, Tadeo Kanyankore, Fred Mugisha, Hajj Musa Kigongo, Gertrude Njuba, Proscovia Nalweyiso, Serwanga Lwanga, Ahmed Seguya, Sam Magara Eriya Kategaya, Noble Mayombo and thousands of others who gave their lives to rescue our motherland from the pangs of bad leadership. We therefore must work day and night to enrich their gains and make Uganda an elite member of the first world.

Historic relevancy of Birembo in our liberation struggle

 Birembo Primary School Grounds is the very spot where the NRA reconvened after the successful attack on Kabamba Barracks in what is known as the Kabamba III in the bush war literature. The Kabamba attack took place on the 1st January 1985 under the command of Salim Saleh. At this very spot, president Yoweri Museveni who was commanding a unit that stayed in Lukoola Kiboga district to hoodwink the UNLA forces not to detect the advancing forces of Afande Saleh as he swiftly moved to attack Kabamba. After the successful attack on Kabamba Saleh communicated to his Command in Chief Yoweri Museveni about the success and how he was retreating back to Lukoola with heavy weaponry that had been got from Kabamba Baracks.

Museveni moved his forces to quickly connect with Saleh such that they assist them to carry the cache but also to give any kind of support that was required since the assumption was that the UNLA would reorganize to do counter attacks and probably make them drop the much cherished cache. Indeed, shortly after Museveni’s unit reached Saleh, the enemy UNLA forces ferociously attacked them using all sorts of heavy artillery in an attempt to make them drop their cache but still failed. However, three NRA fighters who were part of Lumumba’s battalion were killed and Museveni’s body guard one Rwija got injured. The three dead comrades were buried in this same area. The two injured soldiers later died of injuries bringing in total to 5 soldiers who died in the famous battle at Birembo.

We had started camping around 10 am digging trenches and shell craps and cooking on the morning of the 10th of January, 1985. At about 2 pm, the enemy started shelling us with the 107 mm rocket launchers {katyusha]. He shelled and shelled but we kept quiet until his infantry got close to our trenches whereupon we repulsed them one shell landed near my open trench wounding one of my escorts, Rwija”, Museveni writes in his book, The mustard seed.

 Therefore, on this special Day and at this historic venue, it is imperative that all citizens of Uganda reflect on the nature of heroic action every one of us can offer in transforming our Motherland to a Middle Income status by 2020.